Nature and Scenery

One of the principal characteristics of the Ile d’Oléron and the Marennes basin is its untamed quality as evidenced by the numerous forests throughout the island and the marshes that are an essential part of this territory where nature reigns.

The many, varied beaches are also an unmissable element of Marennes-Oléron.  Beaches that are perfect for relaxation, swimming or sport, the more so as the seawater is of the highest quality.  Many municipalities being classified “Blue Flag”, the island has almost half of all the beaches in Charente-Maritime with this prestigious label.

The island has a rich natural heritage and is home to two nature centres, “Marais aux Oiseaux” and “Le Port des Salines”, both front rank natural sites and open year round.  At the former, you can get to know some of the local flora and fauna.  At the latter, it’s the traditional activity of harvesting sea-salt that’s the centre of attraction.

The gentle climate of Marennes-Oléron contributes to the wealth of flora and is a paradise for birds, especially those that migrate.  The flora that is found in the dunes and wetlands, very colourful and aromatic, is the result of the hours of sunshine the island receives every year.

The beaches

beaches marennes oleron
Marennes-Oléron has more than 100km of coast, much of which is home to our superb beaches.  They share one common element – the quality of the seawater for swimmers.  The Ile d’Oléron has many municipalities with the Blue Flag label, among them Le Grand-Village-Plage, Saint-Trojan-les-Bains, Dolus d'Oléron and Saint-Denis d'Oléron.  The flag symbolises the exemplary management of waste and the general environment of beaches in these municipalities.
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The forests

forests marennes oleron
Oléron Island's national forest is formed by three expanses. They are situated in the Saint-Trojan-les-Bains and Saint-Georges d'Oléron districts ( Saumonards, Domino, Sables-Vigners). There are over 7000 acres of state forest, 1700 acres of which are dunes.
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The marshlands

port paradis marennes oleron
Marennes-Oléron is one of the areas with the highest humidity levels in France. Made by several generations over centuries, the marshes are a significant part of this area's heritage. In 1995 as part of the Heritage and Nature label incentive, the region council initiated a global conservation scheme in order to protect the marshes.
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The nature conservation centres

port salines le-grand-village-plage
Oléron Island has two nature conservation centres. These protected natural sites are open all year round and offer tours. Raising awareness towards nature and tradition is the main goal for the nature conservation centres.
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The fauna and the flora

fauna flora marennes oleron
Marennes-Oléron's fauna is essentially composed of birds and mammals. 250 bird species and 30 different mammals have been listed here.
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